"You get what you pay for... I really expected it to cost more to be honest. I truly don't understand the hesitation with getting it done." Film festival contractor, Canada.
How much is this going to cost?
I recently hired a well-known online company to caption some video for me for about $1/minute. The results reflected this rate: the accuracy was around 65–70%. And that's not acceptable considering most countries have legislation requiring 95–100% accuracy for non-live captioning. It's also not acceptable if you don't want to waste your money trying to get your movie distributed to English markets.
Netflix has various levels of what they call "master quality control," with rates at about $7–22/minute. And we've all seen what level of accuracy that results in.
Depending on the project, my subtitle or caption editing would run between $3 and $12 per run-time minute of non-live video, with a base project rate of $75/hr for some projects. I give free estimates and samples, and I won't charge more than that quote. You get dedicated attention to files, just like my book clients. No farming out to unqualified temp workers who "like to proofread"— but years of training and real experience in book proofreading and editing and in writing closed captions.
While my YouTube channel offers fixes to #captionfails in a light-hearted way, providing accessibility and creating distribution-worthy work is serious business. You won't see silly ads on social media from Reel Words. Submit your file via one of the buttons or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org for a free estimate and sample.
Why do I need to pay for this? I just paid a professional translator to subtitle* my work!
Think of your subtitler as an author. Novelists need to have their books copy edited and proofread before publishing. That's because their skill is writing, and they aren't professionally trained in editing. Your translator/subtitler is a key player in the continuum, but their work needs to be perfected through editing.
But it's not a great outlay. It's a time-based job that can run from minutes to hours, and I'll give you an estimate before you commit. Some edits might be as low as $80. That's a tiny fraction of your total budget, and it will make your video more marketable, accessible, and professional.
How long will it take?
It depends on the nature of the product and the service needed. One minute film-time does not equal one-minute of editing. Send in your file for an assessment of the required editing, and I'll send you an estimate ASAP.
Do you do translation and subtitling?
No. My focus is perfecting existing captions and subtitles. I have qualified associates around the world I can refer you to, should extra help be needed.
However, my extensive background in languages and translation training give me a good sense of errors in translation from the original audio.
Do I really NEED to caption my project?
Many countries have laws stipulating the requirement to caption for accessibility, and there are strict standards for producing the text. Check your local legislation and telecommunications regulations. YouTube auto captions are NOT sufficient.
See the Blog section for relevant information and links, including my post on why the new subtitling test at Netflix is inadequate.
Send me your subtitle or caption file. I’ll have a look at no charge and advise you how I can make it flawless.